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Report: Marriage equality would add $78 million, new jobs to Georgia economy

Thursday, August 28, 2014
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Extending marriage to same-sex couples in Georgia would generate an estimated $78.8 million in spending to the state’s economy and could generate more than 900 new jobs over three years, according to a new study.

GeorgiaResearchers at the Williams Institute, an independent think tank at UCLA’s School of Law, estimates that — based on 2010 U.S. Census data — 21,318 same-sex couples live in Georgia. Of those couples, the Institute estimates that 50 percent (10,659 couples) would choose to marry in the first three years, a pattern that has been observed in Massachusetts and elsewhere.

Over 6,800 marriages would occur in the first year alone, and bring up to $50.4 million in revenue to the state of Georgia that year.

“This study confirms that all Georgians benefit from marriage for same-sex couples, not just the LGBT community,” said study author, M.V. Lee Badgett;

Key findings include:

  • 10,659 in-state same-sex couples would choose to marry in the three years following an opening of marriage to same-sex couples in Georgia.
  • The total spending on wedding arrangements and tourism by resident same-sex couples and their guests would add an estimated $78.8 million to the state and local economy of Georgia over the course of three years, with a $50.4 million boost in the first year alone. This economic boost would add $5.5 million in sales tax revenue to the state coffer.

  • Spending related to same-sex couples’ wedding ceremonies and celebrations could generate up to 988 full- and part-time jobs in the state.

In April, Lambda Legal filed a lawsuit in federal court seeking the freedom to marry for unmarried same-sex couples and recognition of marriages entered by same-sex couples in other jurisdictions.

The full study is here.

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